Saturday, 29 October 2011

Press Darlings

My costume choice for this year - 'flyboy' from the
original Dawn of the Dead. If I'm lucky, one person will
know who I'm going as 
You may be a Christian, a Buddhist, a Sikh, or a Rangers supporter. But even if you don't believe in something, there always seems to be the nagging feeling that there are forces at work. The bus always seems to be pulling away from the stop, the one day it rains is the one day that you put a great deal of effort into some zombie make-up, and the day you suddenly decide your lifelong ambition is to bring back 'Jim'll Fix It', you click on the BBC news page and bawl your little eyes out. For me it's a case of everything being pushed into next week. Two friends are celebrating their birthdays, my second news day (complete with an 8 o' clock start) is on, it's Halloween, where I want to take another stab at a decent costume, I'm request collecting for the hospital radio, I have an interview with a local paper regarding a 6 week placement, and I have another early start in the form of advanced media law, which also requires a fair amount of preparation. I'm not complaining though. It's better to have too much on your plate than to be clawing at scraps and procrastinating.

I'm not going to claim to be a full blown journalist. That's why I'm eager to get out on placement - I want to be under proper pressure in a news room, I want to find people's stories, I want to see some of my words printed out and sold to hundreds. But my course really has allowed me to dip my toe into the whole thing. I've not just been sitting in a darkened room typing up essays on the theory of journalism. Dealing with real people and real problems is excellent. I've had a problem in the past, being sensitive to anything people say. But when I had a councillor flaring up and shouting about how only junkies visited the local park, I smiled inside, thinking about how great the footage was. I have political opinions, but these days it's harder for me to reach a conclusion. There are very few cases where we have the hero on one hand, and the classic villain stroking his cat and flexing his scar on the other. When you properly listen to everyone's opinions it's hard not to repeatedly fall off the fence onto one side, get back on, fall on to the other side and repeat. But that's the beauty of it - letting people decide for themselves.

Paperboy got points and bonuses, I got a roll and
square sausage and £30 a week
I can't remember the exact moment where I said to myself  "I want to be a journalist" but it was probably when I was doing my paper round at half past 7 in the morning. It wasn't a particularly fun or eventful job, but it meant that by the time I dragged myself into school at 9 o' clock I was well versed on the day's headlines. People say print journalism is dying, and people also say there will be those who want the day's news in their ink-stained hands. It doesn't make much of a difference to me either way, it will all simply move online. I will be slightly sad to see newspapers go, I think. If an average joe makes the paper, they may proudly stick the newsprint page onto the wall where it will remain for years. Clicking your way through an online archive is arguably not as satisfying. It'll be the end of an icon. But I don't even know if I'm going to go into newspapers. Radio and TV journalism is also on the table (and I might not be employed at all). But regardless of the format, the honest and slightly cheesy desire to get out a story and uncover the truth, educate, or warm people's hearts will remain. Twitter is never going to take over from journalists, thank god.

50 posts, 70 followers, which is some sort of an achievement. Don't know why y'all keep coming back, but you do so...

[What I'm currently listening to > \Talking Heads - Fear of Music/]

...thanks for reading!


  1. I couldn't imagine writing under the constraints of journalism... unofficial blogging is fine with me! Great post.

  2. I'll keep coming back because I'm hoping that you'll post a picture of yourself in zombie makeup.

  3. I appreciate the flyboy costume. I just made my girl watch that flick for the first time and she loved it. Classic!

  4. Talking Heads rule!

    As for being a journalist, good luck with that! It seems like it would be quite a difficult job!